The Jesus from The Big Lebowski is getting his own film
big-lebowski-jesus

That creep can roll, man…

After years of speculation, it looks like a spin-off from The Big Lebowski focusing on John Turturro’s character of The Jesus could actually be happening.

According to the website Birth.Movies.Death, which first reported the news, the spin-off, which has the working title Going Places, is already several weeks into production in New York.

The movie, written by Turturro himself, has reportedly begun filming with a cast that includes Bobby Cannavale, Audrey Tautou and Susan Sarandon.

But why revisit a cult classic?

True, The Big Lebowski is one of the quintessential cult classics. The Coen Brothers’ 1998 comedy caper has spawned themed bars around the world, an annual festival, and even a mock-religion called Dudeism, devoted to spreading the philosophy of the much-loved character played by Jeff Bridges.

Avid fans of the movie even call themselves “achievers” – a reference to a charity in the film named after the millionaire Lebowski, called the Little Lebowski Urban Achievers.

So it might seem absurdly misguided to try to milk any more out of the Dude’s White Russian and risk facing the wrath of legions of disgruntled achievers.

But while the Coen brothers themselves are not directly involved in this spin-off, their relationship with Turturro goes way back to Miller’s Crossing in 1990, so he’ll no doubt have their blessing.

And then there’s the character himself.

In a movie full of scene-stealing, the purple-shirted, flamenco-soundtracked Jesus Quintana is one of the most memorable, if minor, turns. It always felt like the glimpse of a fully-fledged character rather than a one-dimensional cameo, and Turturro clearly feels like there’s more to explore.

What else do we know?

Not a huge amount.

But one intriguing detail to emerge is that Turturro’s premise is inspired by a 1974 French film called Les Valseuses (English title: Going Places), which, even by 1970s standards, was an outrageously sexist tale of two petty criminals competing to give a girl her first orgasm. Roger Ebert called it “the most misogynistic movie I can remember”.

How Turturro plans to update this for ‘The Jesus’ – who John Goodman’s Walter delights in identifying as a “pederast”, is anyone’s guess, but it’s certainly one of the more intriguing projects among Hollywood’s glut of spin-offs and remakes.

There’s still no release date and no distributor, so in the meantime you’ll have to make do with The Jesus’s original screen outing.

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